I am a man who has been on Florida's Death Row over 21 years, for a
killing I did not do. And the man who did the killing have been off death row about ten years.
Freddie Lee Hall
Thug of the Month at OFF2DR
Here you will find a new inmate profiled each month. The public needs to be reminded why we have capital punishment in this country.
August 2008 Thug of the Month
Suzanne Margaret Basso
Texas Death Row
TDCJ # 999329
Louis "Buddy" Musso
In July of 1997, 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, the victim in this
case, first met either Suzanne Basso or her son, James "J.D." O'Malley, at a
church carnival in New Jersey. Musso, though mentally retarded, lived
independently, held a job at a local grocery store, and handled his own
|In June of 1998, Musso left New Jersey to live
with Basso in Jacinto City, Texas. Shortly after Musso moved in with the
Basso, Al Becker, Musso's Social Security representative payee and friend of
twenty years, began having difficulty contacting Musso. Becker had numerous
telephone conversations with Basso, but Basso eventually refused to allow
him to communicate directly with Musso. Concerned about Musso's welfare,
Becker sought assistance from various Texas state agencies, but was not able
to gain any further information about Musso's situation.
In July of 1998,
Basso unsuccessfully attempted to designate herself as Musso's
representative payee of his Social Security benefits. On an application for
a life insurance policy on Musso, Basso was named beneficiary, and she had
described herself as Musso's "wife to be." After Musso's death, police found
certificates of insurance for policies in Musso's name, including one that
provided $65,000 in the event of Musso's death from violent crime. They also
discovered a document entitled Musso's "Last Will and Testament," which
purported to leave Musso's entire estate to Basso while "no one else [was]
to get a cent."
In the days leading up to his death, Musso suffered tremendous abuse at
the hands of Basso and her five co-defendants. Basso would take Musso to the
apartment of co-defendants Bernice Ahrens, Craig and Hope Ahrens (Bernice's
son and daughter), and Terence Singleton (Hope's fiancé), where Musso was
forced to remain seated or in a kneeling position on a plastic mat in the
hallway for hours. Whenever Musso attempted to get off the mat, O'Malley
would beat or kick him. O'Malley, Singleton, Bernice, and Craig beat Musso,
and O'Malley, while wearing combat boots, kicked him repeatedly. Basso beat
Musso with a baseball bat on the buttocks, back, and groin area, and both
she and Hope struck him with a belt and buckle. After hearing that Musso had
been "misbehaving" while she was away from the apartment, Basso, who weighed
over 300 pounds, repeatedly jumped on top of Musso while he was on his hands
and knees, causing him to fall flat on the ground. At one point, Musso
requested that someone there call an ambulance. Even though Hope, as she
later admitted, recognized the extent of Musso's injuries, he received no
medical attention. Someone (the evidence suggests either O'Malley or
Singleton and Craig) bathed Musso in a solution of bleach and Pine-Sol
cleaning fluid, using a wire brush on his body. Apparently, his killers were
giving Musso this kind of "bath" when he died.
On the morning of August 28, 1999, Musso's body was found dumped near a
roadway in Galena Park. Because Musso's clothes lacked any blood stains, and
his only shoe was on the wrong foot, investigators believed that his body
had been dressed after he died. The medical examiner reported an
extraordinary number of injuries to Musso's body and was unable to count the
"hundreds" of bruises that covered Musso from head to toe. The palms of
Musso's hands and the soles of his feet were bruised, while his back and
buttocks showed numerous lash marks indicative of his having been whipped.
Musso's severely blackened eyes resulted from a "hinge fracture" to his
skull, which probably was caused by a blow to the back of the head. He had
sustained broken bones in his nose, ribs, and throat. Marks on his back
appeared to be cigarette burns, but may have been caused by a hot poker, and
the medical examiner noted areas of skin abrasion possibly attributable to
contact with a cleaning solution or scrub brush. The cause of death was
believed to have been a skull fracture from an unknown object, which left a
large, X-shaped laceration in Musso's scalp.
On the evening before Musso's body was discovered, Basso began what
evolved into a lengthy attempt to establish that Musso had run away. She
made several phone calls to people, including Becker, a niece of Musso's,
and the local police, expressing concern about Musso's whereabouts. Basso
claimed that Musso probably had run away with a "little Mexican lady" that
he had met at a laundromat and said that she was "getting kind of worried"
about him. In a written statement to police, Basso later confessed to having
driven Bernice Ahrens's car, with Musso's body in the trunk, to the site
where O'Malley, Singleton, and Craig Ahrens dumped the body. She also
admitted driving the car to the dumpster where the others disposed of
additional incriminating evidence, including bloody clothes and rubber
gloves, which the police had found as a result of O'Malley's confession.
July 2008 Thug of the Month
Texas Death Row
TDCJ # 999331
Prior Prison Record :
TDCJ-ID #439572 on a 35-year sentence from Wichita County for 1 count of
murder, involves the subject beating and suffocating a 21-year old female.
12/11/97 release on mandatory supervision.
Summary of incident :
On 12/21/1984, at the home of a white female, Wardrip committed Burglary
of Habitation and Murder. Wardrip used a knife to stab the victim to death
after gaining entry. The subject admits that on that evening he had been
"screaming at the stars" while walking sleeplessly in a residential area
in Wichita Falls, Texas. The victim came outside to observe the commotion,
which alerted the subject to her presence. Wardrip charged at the victim,
who closed the door, however, Wardrip broke the door down. Once inside, he
killed the victim for no apparent reason (other than a fit of rage).
Wardrip pleaded guilty after DNA evidence linked him to the murder of this
victim as well as three other women..
Terry Lee Sims a student at
Mid-Western State University in Wichita Falls, Texas while working at
Bethania Regional as a EKG Technician, on December 21, 1984, she was at home
alone when she heared a man outside "Screaming at the Sky" (as the killer
would later confess to his actions). When Faryion Edward Wardrip saw her, he
charged her. Sims locked the door, but he broke it down, entering the house
and stabbed her to death for no apparent reason. In 1985, 3 more girls were
found dead in Texas. In 1986, Faryion Wardrip was sentenced to 35 years for
the death of friend, Tina Kimbrew. He would serve 11 years, and was paroled
in 1997. After Wardrip was released, he re-married and became a Sunday
school teacher. In 1999, a young investigator, John Little tied the crimes
of a serial killer together, these crimes where though to be unrelated.
Wardrip was charged with 4 counts of murder, and was sentenced to the Texas
Death Row. Two works, “Body Hunter” by Patricia Springer and "Scream at the
Sky: Five Texas Murders and One Man's Crusade for Justice" By Carlton
Stowers. These cases have also been featured on the television programs
“Cold Case Files” and “Forensic Files”. (bio
by: Frank W Nichols).
FROM COURT DOCUMENTS:
Appellant pleaded guilty to the capital murder of Terry Sims. The State
presented evidence of the offense during the punishment phase of the trial.
Leza Boone, Sims’ friend and co-worker, testified that she and Sims finished
working their shifts at Bethania Hospital in Wichita Falls at approximately
11:15 p.m. on the night of December 20, 1984. They planned to exchange
Christmas gifts at the home of a friend after work and Sims was to stay at
Boone’s residence that night to help her study for her final exam the
following day. Boone was unexpectedly called to return to the hospital to
work the next shift, so she drove Sims to Boone’s residence after the
Christmas gift exchange. She dropped Sims off at approximately 12:30 a.m. on
December 21, 1984.
Boone finished her shift at the hospital at approximately 7:15 a.m. and
returned to her residence. Sims did not answer the door, so Boone obtained a
key from her landlord who lived two doors down. Boone opened the door and
noticed that the living room was in disarray. Sims did not respond when
Boone yelled her name, so Boone ran back to her landlord’s residence and
told him that something was wrong. The landlord then entered Boone’s
residence and discovered Sims’ dead body.
Sims was found lying naked on her left side in a pool of blood on the
bathroom floor. Her hands were bound tightly behind her back with part of an
extension cord that was tied in four knots. Her body was covered in blood
and there was blood splattered on the bathroom walls and floor. The living
room and front bedroom were in disarray. There were blood stains on the bed
sheets and the floor in the front bedroom. Sims’ bloodstained clothes were
on the floor in the living room and front bedroom.
Dr. Allen Stilwell, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on
Sims’ body, testified that she had eight stab wounds on the front of her
chest, three stab wounds on the right side of her back, one stab wound on
her left upper arm, and defensive cuts on her hands and fingers. Stilwell
believed that Sims sustained most of these stab wounds after her assailant
tied her hands behind her back. Sims also had bruises on the bridge of her
nose, her lips, and above the left side of her cheek and eye. Stilwell
testified that these bruises were consistent with Sims being struck by a
fist or by her falling and banging her head on the floor. He further
testified that Sims had additional “tease wounds” which were inflicted by
her assailant “to get her attention.”4 He testified that at least one of
Sims’ stab wounds caused hemorrhaging when it punctured a major artery and
that other stab wounds caused her lungs to collapse which prevented her from
breathing. He determined that Sims probably died from these injuries within
two to four minutes after they were inflicted.
The forensic test results showed the presence of sperm on the oral and
vaginal swabs taken from Sims’s body. The DNA testing of appellant’s blood
and saliva samples revealed that appellant was the only individual who could
have contributed the sperm found on Sims’ oral swab.5 In addition,
appellant’s fingerprints matched a bloody fingerprint found on Sims’ tennis
Appellant gave a statement after his arrest. In his statement, he claimed
that he was under the influence of “heavy drugs” on the night he murdered
Sims. He stated that he was out walking when he saw Sims. He forced his way
into the residence and “just ransacked her, just slung her all over the
house in a violent rage.” He remembered “stripping her down out of anger,”
tying her hands behind her back, and stabbing her with a knife, but he did
not recall having sex with her. He could not remember if he brought the
knife with him or what he did with the knife after he committed the murder.
Appellant stated that he was “mad at the world” and that his drinking and
drug abuse caused him to be paranoid and to have violent outbursts. He had
the urge to “lash out” at two or three people that evening, but he acted on
his urge when he encountered Sims.
Terry Sims, Tina Kimbrew, Toni
Gibbs, Ellen Blau, Debra Taylor
Bryce Wardrip wants to watch
his big brother die.
Serial killer Faryion Edward Wardrip initiated a federal appeals process
last week to avoid the death chamber, but Bryce Wardrip said his brother
should "quit wasting taxpayers' money."
"Case closed. Take him down to Huntsville, put a needle in his arm and
execute him," he said in a story in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on
Thursday. "The way I look at it, (Wardrip's ashes) need to be put in a shoe
box and thrown out in a garbage pit."
Faryion Wardrip was sentenced to death in November 1999 after he pleaded
guilty to the 1984 murder of Terry Sims, a Midwestern State University
He had been arrested in early 1999 in Olney, where he lived while out on
parole after serving 11 years in prison for the 1986 murder of Wichita Falls
resident Tina Kimbrew.
In Olney, 90 miles south of Wichita Falls, Faryion Wardrip was known as a
diligent worker and a Sunday school teacher. He told fellow parishioners
that he'd finished serving a manslaughter sentence for drunken driving and
killing his girlfriend.
But after his arrest, Wardrip confessed to the January 1985 slaying of nurse
Toni Gibbs, the September 1985 homicide of MSU student Ellen Blau and the
March 1985 killing of Fort Worth homemaker Debra Taylor.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his capital murder conviction
Tom Allensworth, the attorney who handled Wardrip's state appeals, has said
he believes Wardrip is pursuing every appeal available.
Execution for Wardrip probably looms at least two years away because of
tight court scheduling, Wichita County assistant District Attorney John
Brasher said Wednesday.
Bryce Wardrip initially defended his brother — until Faryion Wardrip
confessed to some of the killings over the phone. Bryce Wardrip later
testified against his brother.
Bryce Wardrip said hatred consumed him for a time. He stayed awake at night
actually imagining tortures for his brother because execution was "getting
off easy" for the crimes.
Robert Kimbrew, the father of one of Wardrip's victims, helped Bryce Wardrip
overcome some of his anger.
"If he's for some reason not alive, I will sit in Robert Kimbrew's spot (at
the execution) to make sure justice is done," Bryce Wardrip said. "I'm
watching a murderer being put to death, not my brother."
June 2007 Thug of the Month
Cathy Lynn Henderson had an execution date scheduled for June 13, 2007. Yet again Henderson dodged the executioner with her on-going lies and stall tactics. Cathy Henderson continues to be a thug even from Death Row. She continues to torment the family of Brandon Baugh. She has failed to give a factual account of what transpired the day she took the life of this innocent young child. Cathy Henderson shows NO remorse for her crimes.
June 13, 2007
Death Row: Cathy Henderson, Texas Department of Criminal
Justice Number 999148, was received at TDCJ on June 1, 1995. After three
months of babysitting Brandon and Megan Baugh, Henderson abducted,
murdered, and buried 3-month old Brandon, later telling police that the
baby's death was an accident. With her latest appeal denied in August
2006, an execution date has been set. -- April 18, 2007.
Henderson: Cathy Lynn Henderson had been babysitting the
Baugh children for about 3 months before the January 21, 1994 abduction
and murder. Originally from Missouri, Henderson had been living in
northeast Travis County and was the babysitter for Megan and Brandon
Baugh in 1993/94. Upon the disappearance of Henderson and baby Brandon,
a nationwide search ensued. Henderson was found in Missouri.
Henderson maintains that
Brandon's injuries were sustained in an accidental fall and that in a
panic she buried his body on her way out of town. She had also claimed
at different points that she had stolen the baby to sell for money. Maps
she drew to show where she had buried Brandon back in Texas were a point
of contention prior to her conviction and in later appeals (denied).
Facts of the case:
Baby Brandon's head was
shattered. When a child is born, their skulls are still soft. It's a
trait that aids in the childbirth and there is a soft spot on the
skull that eventually closes over. Because the bone has a rubbery
texture to it, it's almost impossible to crack. The cracks in his
skull were so extensive that they almost encircles the skull and there
was about a 2 inch circular piece at the back that had been pushed in
with radiating lines to about a 4 inch diameter and the bone in
between the inner and outer cirle had been fragmented. The coroner
stated that the amount of force to cause that much damage would be the
equivalent of being hit with a baseball bat. The only thing he could
theorize that could cause that much damage is that she grabbed him by
the ankles, swung him like a hammer and slammed his head into a hard
object like a concrete floor....repeatedly.
Cathy's daughter Melissa
testified AGAINST her mother. Cathy was abusive to her and after they
divorced, Melissa had her parental rights terminated. Cathy was so
furious at her daughter that she swore that one day when Melissa had a
child she would come and take it from her so she would know the pain
of losing a child. It was her own child's testimony and fear that the
jury heard when they decided that she would be a continuing threat to
society. They coupled that in with one of Cathy's in-laws testifying
that she had come to his house drunk one evening and attacked him with
a knife. (it's in the court transcripts if you want to look it up)
Brandon Baugh: The body of 3-month old Brandon Baugh was
found in a box buried in a shallow grave outside Temple, Texas on Feb.
8, 1994. He had died days earlier on January 21. An autopsy revealed
he died from head injuries that, according to the medical examiner,
were not consistent with a fall from the babysitter's arms as Cathy
Henderson had claimed. Brandon's parents Mom Melissa, Dad Eryn, his
Aunt Julie and the rest of their family have been waiting 13 years for
Justice for Brandon.
Rest in Peace Sweet Baby.
Participate in discussion about this case here:
Notes: Brandon's Father Eryn contributed to the facts shown here.
March 2007 Thug of the Month
Thug of the Month
Tennessee Death Row
Christa Gail Pike was convicted in
1996 for the Jan. 12, 1995, torture slaying of 19-year-old Colleen Slemmer,
who was slashed and beaten by Pike and Pike's boyfriend, Tadaryl Shipp, for
30 minutes to an hour before Pike finally killed her by smashing Slemmer's
skull with a chunk of asphalt.
In letters literally splattered with
blood, a Tennessee death row inmate reveals her passion for brutal pain to
trusted "soul mate" and fellow convicted killer John Lee Fryman. But Fryman,
now imprisoned at the Warren Correctional Institute near Lebanon after
Lucasville inmates beat him almost to death for being a snitch, mailed the
letters to prosecutors to help them put Christa Pike to death. Pike, 24,
convicted in the torture slaying of 19-year-old Colleen Slemmer, is in the
final round of the state's death penalty appeals process. Ms. Slemmer was
slashed, beaten and stabbed for at least 30 minutes by Pike and Tadaryl
Shipp, who even carved a pentagram into Ms. Slemmer's chest while she was
still alive. Then Pike bashed her head with a chunk of asphalt, reached
inside and took part of the skull as a souvenir.
All three were students at the
now-closed Job Corps Center in Knoxville. Just after Christmas, Fryman
mailed Knox County Assistant District Attorney Bill Crabtree eight letters
of love and violence written between Sept. 11 and Oct. 19, 2000, by Pike,
who is held at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Tenn. The
contents of the Sept. 11 letter indicate the two had been writing to each
other for some time. The eight letters were filed in Knox County court this
week as exhibits in Pike's latest appeal of her 1996 death sentence. "Figure
all these things are of more value to you than to me," Fryman wrote to
Crabtree. "You see Mr. Prosecutor dude I'm down (in prison) for Satanic
Murder. They say that I practice magic still." He goes on to write, "Christa
loves me - go figure eh?... Foolish girl that she is." Fryman concludes:
"You have a nice day Mr. Crabtree - or whoever has her case."
In the letters Pike writes how much
she likes blood. "It's quite beautiful before it turns brown," she writes in
an Oct. 6 letter sprinkled with what she indicates is her blood. She also
writes about how much she likes to inflict pain. "I love the feel of life -
then lack thereof in my hands," she writes Fryman. "And just knowing the
pain I can cause after accepting so much - and they will all know it's me."
In another she notes, "I like to see blood and brains - fatty tissues and
wide open ripped flesh." She also writes, "I'm unlike all the others,
Johnny," and calls Fryman her soul mate and frequently says she loves him
and is his "princess." She also discusses the way her face masks what's
inside her. "See, I have an innocent baby face, the face of an angel," she
writes. "It disguises me to a lot of people."
Fryman, 38, is serving a life
sentence in Ohio for the 1987 murder of 21-year-old Monica Lemen, whom he
lured to his Fairfield trailer and shot in the back of the head in his
"sorcery room." The room featured black-painted walls, a gravestone altar,
animal jawbones, satanic figurines and a plastic ram's head. Fryman sawed
off Ms. Lemen's legs and left them behind an Indiana church. In 1993, Fryman
was nearly killed by other inmates for being a snitch during a riot at the
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville that left one guard and
nine inmates dead.
November Thug of the Month
Awaiting execution by lethal injection on Texas Death Row
Arrived on death row:
in Tarrant County, Texas, Foster and co-defendant Ward sexually assaulted and
shot a 28 year old black female, resulting in her death. Foster and Ward then
moved the body of the victim to a ditch where it was discovered by workers who
were laying pipe.
Co-defendant: Shelton Aaron Ward
From the News:
killer linked to another woman's death
the former Army recruiter convicted Friday of capital murder
in the slaying of Nyanuer "Mary" Pal, was convicted in 1984 of aggravated
robbery and is linked to the killing of another woman, law enforcement
officials testified Monday as the penalty phase of Foster's trial began.
asking jurors to recommend a death sentence for Foster,
40, whom they found guilty of participation in the kidnap-rape-killing of
Pal on Valentine's Day 2002.
witnesses characterized him as a "giving man" and a "good son."
Foster has been married and divorced twice, according to public records
and court testimony, and has a 15-year-old son. Foster's first wife, Patty
Rios, attended the proceedings Monday.
will call more witnesses today, and then jurors in state
District Judge Sharen Wilson's court are expected to begin deliberating
Foster's sentence. He could get life in prison.
Leonard and Lloyd Whelchel called several witnesses to
implicate Foster in the December 2001 rape-slaying of Rachel Urnosky in
Fort Worth. Patrol officers summoned by the former Texas Tech student's
co-workers found her on a bed in her southwest Fort Worth apartment after
she didn't show up for work.
In a statement
given a month after the Pal slaying, Foster told homicide
Detective John McCaskill that Urnosky invited him and his co-defendant,
Sheldon Ward, into her apartment and that any sexual contact had been
sister, Kelly, testified Monday that Urnosky was engaged to be
married and did not know Ward or Foster. Ballistics experts said the
bullet used to kill Urnosky came from the same gun used to kill Pal.
Ward, the gun's
registered owner, was convicted in May in Pal's case and
sentenced to die.
joined the Army Reserve in 1980, was stationed for some of
that time at Fort Hood. In nearby Harker Heights in 1984, Foster was
convicted of aggravated robbery after he held a knife to a man's neck
while another man demanded money, testified Doug Mennor, a former Harker
Heights police detective. Foster was sentenced to 10 years on probation.
attorneys Rex Barnett and John Harding tried to show that Ward
acted alone in the Pal and Urnosky cases. And they called witnesses to
testify about Foster's character.
father, Cleve Foster Sr., said he raised his son in church "and
tried to teach him in the way he should go." Donna Fagen, who works in the
aviation industry, said that Foster helped her out around the house after
she had neck surgery and that he got her son into the military.
"He was a
blessing to me and my son," Fagen said. "He was always very
respectful of me."
20, who is not related to Cleve Foster, said the former Army
recruiter was the main reason he joined the Army. Paul Foster, who
testified Monday that he was wounded twice last year in the war in Iraq,
said he looked up to Cleve Foster.
heard any bad words about him," Paul Foster said.
(source : Fort
From the internet:
Cleve Foster has a website up:
Apparently like many others he claims to be innocent of the crime.
"I'M INNOCENT and on Death Row, and I need your help. "21 YEAR VET".
April 2006 Thug of the Month
Pedro Solis Sosa - Polunsky Unit
Death Row - Texas
Arrived on death row: January 7, 1985 - 21 yrs on the row!
Naptime for Mr. Sosa is scheduled
for April 25, 2006
|| Convicted in the
November 1983 shooting death of 55 yr old Ollie F. Childress, Jr., a Wilson
county Deputy Sheriff. Sosa and his nephew Leroy V. Sosa abducted Officer
Childress on Texas Highway 16 and drove his patrol car, with the officer in
the truck, to the LaVernia State Bank, which they robbed of $51,038. The robbers
then drove to a point on Steinben Road where Officer Childress was shot once
in the neck with his own .44-caliber revolver while handcuffed in the trunk.
Sosa and his nephew then fled in their own vehicle, but returned a short
time later because they had forgotten to wipe the patrol car clean of their
fingerprints. Finding Officer Childress still alive Sosa reportedly shot him
a second time in the neck. Leroy Sosa told police his uncle shot the officer
because Childress had seen his face. The two robbers drove to San Antonio
after throwing the officers gun and a shotgun they used in the bank robbery
in a creek. Pedro Sosa was arrested after his car was stopped on I-35 on
February 4, 1984.